Added value experiences keep the customers around

July 30, 2018

Delivering an added-value experience can help companies pull ahead of the pack, giving customers the incentive to return—while also elevating the business and the entire industry. It can be challenging to stand out from the scrum of companies clamoring for attention and business. More challenging still is inspiring the kind of loyalty that keeps customers …

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How to use the H-2B program to hire legal temporary guest workers

June 1, 2018

For tent and event rental companies, the busy season not only brings the promise of more work, it also ups the need for more workers, a worry for businesses facing potential labor shortages. In response, some U.S. businesses turn to the H-2B program, hoping to fill their seasonal needs by employing legal temporary immigrant labor, …

Help wanted: the next generation of manufacturing workers

May 1, 2018

The dearth of skilled labor is an increasingly common lament heard from manufacturers of all stripes. It’s not a sudden or inflated complaint. According to recent data provided by the Manufacturing Institute (the Institute, or MI), an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) based in Washington, D.C., 364,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled. …

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Fabric graphics dazzle outdoors

April 1, 2018

Branding has become a major fixation. From people who carefully curate their social media postings to large corporations with entire brand-focused departments and everything in between, it seems as if everyone is intent on cementing public perception of their brands. And although we’ve all likely encountered individuals who are obsessed with their “personal brand,” for …

Tarp and truck cover manufacturers stand at the ready with products designed to keep loads secure and drivers safe

March 1, 2018

Fabric truck covers, side curtains and tarping systems are enjoying increased attention from an industry looking for advanced solutions to help keep fleets rolling along more efficiently, safely and economically. Several factors are fueling this interest. For one thing, drivers are getting older, says Vincent Merlot Jr., CEO/owner of Merlot Vango® Tarping Solutions Inc., a …

Fabric performance tested and approved

February 1, 2018

That we live in a litigious society is evident to anyone who has spent even a little time in front of the television, where commercials touting the services of personal injury or product failure attorneys are pervasive reminders about how precarious life can be. Consumers have become ever more demanding in their expectations of what …

On the march

December 1, 2017

For several years the U.S. military market has been characterized by base closures and troop drawdowns, which has had an admittedly dampening effect on the need for and spending on military textiles. The United States isn’t the only geographic market for these products, nor are these textiles limited to just our military; purchasers are found …

Biomimetics: Fabrics borrow from nature to solve problems

October 31, 2017

For most people, arriving home from a hike covered in burrs would likely cause aggravation. But for George de Mestral, the burrs became an inspiration. Curious about how they clung so stubbornly to his clothes, the Swiss electrical engineer put them under a microscope, which revealed hundreds of “hooks” that attached to anything with a …

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Closing the loop: long-term sustainability strategies for textile manufacturers

July 1, 2017

Textile manufacturers are deploying sustainability strategies and forming partnerships to green up products and processes, helping manufacturers meet the requirements of even the most eco-concerned customers—and getting a good start on the circular economy of the future. For most manufacturers, eco-friendly, sustainable products are becoming a competitive necessity. And as concern over environmental issues has …

Recycling and repurposing used fabrics and scraps

About five years ago, Scott Massey, president of Awning Cleaning Industries/APCO Products (and a member of IFAI’s board of directors), decided to expand his business reach in an earth-friendly way. His company has always had an environmental bent, since well-maintained fabrics stay out of landfills longer. Still, even these fabrics eventually need replacing, resulting in …